Diversity and abundance of ticks infesting goats in Pallisa subcounty, Pallisa district (Eastern Uganda)
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Ticks are a major group of arthropod vectors, characterized by the diversity of pathogens they transmit, by their impact on human and animal health, and by their socio-economic implications especially in the tropical and sub-tropical countries. Uganda is one of the countries hardest hit by ticks especially Rhipicephalus appendiculatus, Ambylomma variegatum and Rhipicephalus. (Boophilus) decoloratus. The present study was to determine the abundance and diversity of ticks on goat hosts of different sexes, age groups and different grazing systems in Pallisa sub county, Pallisa district in Eastern Uganda. Ticks were collected from a total of 420 goats sampled in 6 villages belonging to 3 parishes. The ticks were preserved in 70% ethanol contained in plastic vials labeled in respect to the parish, village and host characteristic in consideration including sex, age group or rearing system. The tick species that were identified include Rhipicephalus evertsi, R. appendiculatus and Ambylomma variegatum with percentage prevalence of 55.43%, 30.94% and 13.64%, respectively. The sex of goat hosts, age group and rearing system had significant effects on the tick abundance, as indicated by the chi-square tests at p = 0.05 in table 2. The results confirm the necessity of including goats in any tick control program designed for livestock management. However, similar research should be conducted on goats and other small ruminants across the country in order to establish the roles they play in mediation of economically important ticks.